After two years of development, the European project SPADE (Assessing the added value from SPAtial DEvelopment as a factor in infrastructure planning) has been successfully concluded. The main project output is a quick and easy-to-use assessment method that supports the collaborative planning process for multi-modal infrastructure and spatial development. SPADE has been supported by the Conference of European Directors for Roads (CEDR). The method has been presented at the CEDR conference on Collaborative Planning on 12 February 2021.
A well-functioning and sustainable transport system is essential for a good functioning of society, economy and environment. In the planning process for transport infrastructure and spatial development, different stakeholders (e.g. road authorities, planners, interest groups) at different spatial levels feel an on-going pressure to collaborate and to tune their planning with others.
The SPADE method supports the collaborative planning process. SPADE consists of a process and a tool. The process describes the steps needed to perform the collaborative assessment, involving stakeholders from different backgrounds, with different ‘wish lists’ and different planning procedures. The tool is a combination of different discussion formats (digital workshop or e-participation) and an assessment tool, combining a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) with a cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The method can be repeated as often as necessary, to improve the assessment results and narrow the list of measures or alternatives to the most favourable ones.
The SPADE method is a supplement to conventional planning procedures. It fosters a collaboration between different stakeholders at all stages of the planning process, but “has proven to be useful specifically at an early planning stage” as Jan Kiel (Panteia, SPADE project coordinator) reports. SPADE eases the exchange of information among stakeholders and supports the collaborative assessment of mobility measures and policy packages beyond the classical CBA, by including qualitative aspects or criteria. The method helps simplifying and accelerating transport infrastructure and spatial planning, specifically in complex surroundings such as urban areas or corridors. The SPADE method is based on the results of a comprehensive literature review of almost 500 studies. It has been tested in three pilot cases in Austria, the Netherlands and Norway.
On 12 February 2021, the SPADE method was presented to the professional public at the joint final conference of all projects funded under the CEDR research programme "Collaborative Planning". The conference participants agreed that the SPADE method is an important element of a common framework for collaborative planning that needs to be implemented at a larger scale. Hans Ring (Trafikverket, CEDR) has concluded in his final statement that “the relevance of collaborative planning increases in view of the Green Deal and the development of a truly multimodal European transport system”.
The SPADE project has been performed by Panteia (NL; lead) in collaboration with the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT; AT), Hacon Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (Hacon; DE) and the Institute for Transport Economics (TØI; NO).
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